Australian Brumby Challenge ©
VBA Bago week 4
This week Bago has really begun to shine. At the beginning of the week I continued to work with getting him really comfortable around me. Within a couple of days, I could walk up to him gently stroke his nose, back away, and then he would walk up to meet me again. With this foundation now set I begun to work with bringing my tools into the equation and beginning to work in different areas of his body, not just in front of him. The tools I used this week where a 22-foot rope, a carrot stick with a string and a long pole (2.5m) these tools are used as an extension of my arm. At a later stage they can be used as a driving aid, but with Bago I was using them to develop confidence in different areas of his body, this is why I am holding the pole in my front hand, not my back hand. When the pole is in my back hand it is a driving aid and is pushing the horse forward, when the pole is in my front hand my body is on an angle to the horse and this is less intimidating. I placed these tools over his back and hips while he circled around the yard. Bago was not particularly keen on these tools and would often become uncomfortable, when this happened I stayed calm and continued with what I was doing. However even when Bago gets uncertain with something I do with my tools he is still able to turn and face me and sniff my hand. This shows that the foundation we have developed over the last three weeks is strong and he feels he can turn to me for support.
By the end of the week I could stand with in a meter of Bago in any part of his body. I am still able to touch him when in front of him and I can now stroke his nose with ease. Next week I will continue to work with these tools until I can touch Bago with my hand in other parts of his body. While I do this, I need to take breaks and do things Bago is confident with to ensure I maintain his trust.